In 1930's America, a small group of east coast scientists shared a common passion for the study and exploration of caves. At a time when the subterranean world was viewed through a lens of mystery and folklore, these pioneers of speleology developed the early techniques for underground research. Two years and a few hundred members later, the Speleological Society of Washington DC recognized a growing demand for a parent organization. Through their efforts, the National Speleological Society was legally incorporated as a non-profit organization on January 1, 1941.
Seventy-five years, and nearly 70,000 members later, the NSS has evolved into the largest organization in the world dedicated to the exploration, study, and preservation of caves. We're an affiliate member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and our research frequently graces the pages of science journals, mass media and National Geographic magazine. NSS members are regular collaborators with the US Geological Society, National Park Service, US Forest Service, US Fish & Wildlife and countless municipal agencies and private cave owners. We've provided research and testimony for the United States Congress and even assisted NASA in predicting cave environments on Mars.
In July of 2016, the NSS will celebrate its 75th anniversary at our annual convention in the historic western town of Ely, Nevada.
Baryte, or barite, (BaSO4) is a mineral consisting of barium sulfate. The baryte group consists of baryte, celestine, anglesite and anhydrite. Baryte is generally white or colorless, and is the main source of barium.
Baryte occurs in a large number of depositional environments, and is deposited through a large number of processes including biogenic, hydrothermal, and evaporation, among others. Baryte commonly occurs in lead-zinc veins in limestones, in hot spring deposits, and with hematite ore.